Mumbai: Senior BJP leader and Maharashtra revenue minister Eknath Khadse here on Monday compared the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) to the Sanatan Sanstha and said if organisations could be banned without evidence then AIMIM would have to be banned as well.
"We cannot ban any organisation until we have concrete evidence that the organisation is involved in illegal activities. Unless we have concrete evidence, the ban will not stand in court. AIMIM is also known for making provocative statements. Likewise, other parties and organisations also indulge in explosive statements. Do we keep banning all of them? Even if we do, will it stand in court," Khadse told PTI.
Replying to a query, he said that the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has never spoken against the country or against society.
"The MNS has never spoken against the country or against society. On the other hand, AIMIM indulges in provocative speeches. We have not banned the AIMIM also, because we do not have concrete evidence that will stand in court," Khadse, the senior-most member of the Maharashtra Cabinet, said.
Reacting to Khadse's statement, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that Khadse has been "hypnotised" by the Sanatan Sanstha's dream of making India a Hindu Rashtra (nation) by 2023.
"AIMIM firmly believes in the Indian constitution and pluralism of the country. We do not want India to become a Hindu Rashtra. Khadse has been hypnotised by the Sanatan Sanshta's dream of making India a Hindu Rashtra by 2023," Owaisi said.
"To compare the AIMIM to Sanatan Sanstha which does not even believe in parliamentary democracy is absurd. It is now confirmed that Pansare's murderer will go scot-free because a sitting cabinet minister like Khadse holds such views," Owaisi said, demanding that Khadse withdrew his statement immediately.